The week in pictures, December 1-7
The week kicked off with Estonia making waves in the international news, by becoming the first country to offer e-residency. The world's first e-resident's digital identity card was given to senior editor for The Economist magazine, Edward Lucas. The aim of the e-residency project, which toward the end of the week reached its second, "10 million e-Estonians" stage, is to make Estonia more visible in the world and attract more business to the country.
The week continued in a less grandiose scale, when it turned out that the highly anticipated premier of Jüri Reinvere's new opera "Peer Gynt" at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo on November 29, which had also received a lot of attention in Estonia, was not the success many hoped for. A number of mixed reviews were published by the Norwegian press in the beginning of the week.
Eesti Energia's main rival, Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), announced that it is closing two of its refineries, citing low crude oil prices and the high price charged by Eesti Energia, who supplies VKG with oil shale.
On Tuesday, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves hosted the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland at the Kau Manor in central Estonia to discuss the European security situation. A similar meeting between the Baltic prime minister took place three days later at the Maardu Manor.
It was announced on Wednesday evening that the Aadu Luukas Mission Award for service to society - which comes with a handsome 32,000 cash prize - went to the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition. The decision to give the award to an organization that is best known for its controversial campaign against the gender-neutral Cohabitation Act, created further discussion in the media and society, something that, according to the jury, earned the foundation the prize in the first place.
The Tax Board announced on Thursday that it had confiscated 13,716,000 contraband cigarettes in three weeks. This was over 2 million more than in 2013 altogether. The last time such a large quantity was discovered was a few years ago, when over 4 million cigarettes were hidden in a sea container.
On Thursday evening, Heidy Purga named the 20 semifinalists for Eesti Laul 2015, the Estonian pre-Eurovision contest. The semifinalists were chosen from the 219 initial entries, an all-time record. The semi-finals will take place on February 7 and 14, and the winner, decided on February 21, will represent the country in the next Eurovision song contest, which will be held in Vienna, Austria, in May.